google-site-verification: google420bc12b3aca5bd2.html

Pele’s Curse Makes Souvenir Lava Rocks Bad Luck?

Pele’s Curse

Virtually every visitor to the Big Island hears about “Pele’s curse” upon anyone who takes rocks or sand home as a souvenir of the islands.  There are thousands who scoff at such beliefs and take home lava rocks and/or black sand as tokens to remind them of the great time they had while visiting the islands.

Is Pele’s curse real or imagined?  The bottom-line is that its up to you to believe or not.  I will say this, of the thousands and thousands of people who choose to ignore the warnings and take one or more of “Pele’s children” home with them, thousands end up sending them back along with letters filled with stories of misfortune that have stricken the senders since returning home with their souvenirs.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, hotels, and Post Offices receive thousands of packages containing rocks and sand with requests to return them to Pele in hopes of putting an end to unlucky streaks of bad luck that have befallen them.  Coincidence?  Probably.  Superstitious nonsense?  Possibly.

Does it matter?   Not really.  Whether its a matter of appeasing Pele’s curse or simply peace of mind in having returned these items, is a matter of concern only to the sender.  Is it possible that the bad luck that they have encountered had nothing to do with Pele’s Curse and will continue in spite of returning these bits of the islands?  Yes.  Is it also possible that their misfortunes will come to an end?  Again, yes.

Whether you are a believer in Pele’s curse or not is up to you.  What bothers me are those who feel they must scoff and ridicule those who choose to believe!  If you are one who took rocks and/or sand home with you as a souvenir and have not been inflicted with any bad luck…good for you.  I will point out that taking rocks, or anything else for that matter, from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is not permitted by park regulations, not legends or curses.

Avoid Pele’s Curse, Take pictures, Not sand or lava rocks

There are signs posted requesting that you not take black or green sand from many of the beaches.  Its a simple matter of supply and replenishment.  Hawaii has millions of visitors a year.  If each visitor chose to take home a piece of the island or jars of sand, do you think that would have an impact for future visitors?

(While you are considering the answer to that question, I will tell you that from time to time, the sands at Waikiki Beach have had to be replenished with sand from other parts of the island.  As a matter of fact, a major replenishment project was completed this spring, dredging tons and tons of sands from offshore Waikiki and pumping it back onto the beach.   Is the sand removed by tourists or by natural ocean currents?  Both are to blame.  However, the sands at the red (Maui) and green (Big Island) sand beaches are not as readily replenished, since there aren’t any other beaches to replenish them from.  There is a finite supply of these unique colorations.)

The locals are just as guilty of removing sand from the beaches to take home as island visitors.  In fact, they tend to bring sand home by the bucket or truck load for use in landscaping their yards, so probably are more guilty than tourists.   Fortunately, even that practice has been reduced considerably as everyone becomes more environmentally aware.

Pele’s Curse…Real?

Let me know what you think.  Have you experienced Pele’s curse?  Have you returned rocks you have removed from Hawaii?  Or do you think its all just superstitious nonsense?  I’d love to hear from you.

Fare Buzz

Incoming search terms:

  • Lava souvenir

No Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a Reply

The owner of this website, Randy Yanagawa, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking My Hawaii Food Fun to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or